Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Why Kyle Shanahan envisions Deebo Samuel having a similar role for 49ers in 2022

Feb 1, 2022 at 1:34 PM--

Deebo Samuel is a wide receiver, a running back, and he even threw a touchdown pass this season. He is one of the most versatile offensive weapons in the NFL. Everyone is looking for the next Deebo, and the San Francisco 49ers are lucky to have him.

Samuel led the team in receiving with 1,405 yards. He also had 365 rushing yards and a team-high eight rushing touchdowns. The third-year player doesn't even refer to himself as a wide receiver. Instead, he labels himself a "wide back"—a wide receiver and running back hybrid.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters on Tuesday and was asked if he envisions Samuel having a similar dual-threat role next season. After all, it was very successful this year. However, you have to worry about the toll it takes on a player's body playing two very demanding positions, especially one as physically punishing as running back.

"I see [his role next season] as very similar," Shanahan said. "I mean, we've got to be careful with that. Running back is different, but he's also built like a running back and runs like a running back. He just happens to do stuff a receiver also does really good. If you look at his body, he looks more like a running back. But we never want to stop using him at receiver.

"And it's just the threat that he can be a running back at any time is a huge advantage for your team, and it's a huge advantage for Deebo too. It's a way he can make sure that he gets touches. You can do that at receiver but not like when you can just hand the ball to a guy. So, we've always got to keep that threat. That's what separates him. Deebo knows that too."

Samuel admitted this week that he is more than willing to do whatever the 49ers coaches ask of him.

"Yeah, I'm perfectly fine with it," Samuel told reporters. "Like I stated all year long, I'm down for whatever to help this team win in every aspect."

The 49ers were more willing to push Samuel during the team's three playoff games, given everything that was on the line. The team clinched a playoff spot on its final play of the regular season and then fought to make it to the NFC Championship Game, falling short of a second Super Bowl appearance in three years.

"It's one game or you go home," Shanahan continued. "Deebo knows that. I know that. We're doing what we can to win. And I also think if we get some more backs too, you can balance that all out, but we also know how good Deebo is at it, and the defense does too."

Samuel averaged 6.2 rushing yards per carry and proved to be a headache for opposing defenders. That allowed Shanahan to be creative with his play designs.

"Knowing that he can be there at any time, just like knowing when a quarterback can be a threat as a runner at any time, all that stuff is unusual [when it comes to] how to treat personnel groupings, and things like that," Shanahan added. "That's why it's something I don't see going away for him."

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

As Bryant Young enters Hall of Fame, Kyle Shanahan names one 49ers player with a similar trait

By David Bonilla
Aug 6

Bryant Young had an illustrious 14-year NFL career—all spent with the San Francisco 49ers. He will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan never coached Young. Although, on Saturday, he admitted that he tried to bring the former defensive lineman to San Francisco as a coach. The situation just didn't work out. Young served on the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff, but it was the year after Shanahan departed for the 49ers. Shanahan does remember Young's playing days, though. His father, Mike Shanahan, was the 49ers' offense coordinator during Young's rookie season, one in which the team finished as Super Bowl champions. "I love B.Y.," Shanahan told reporters. "I was a ball boy when he got drafted. Talk

Kyle Shanahan: Trey Lance won't "make or break" 49ers' 2022 season

By David Bonilla
Aug 16

The San Francisco 49ers probably would have done well last season with or without Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm for the majority of the games. They may not have been a lock for an NFC Championship Game appearance without their steady game manager, but the season probably wouldn't have been a flop with rookie Trey Lance under center. The reason for that is the level of talent on the roster. The team was loaded with playmakers on both sides of the football. A case could be made that Lance should have played more. The then-21-year-old quarterback, more than anything, needed reps—more than the two starts he got filling in for an injured Garoppolo. He entered the NFL with just 17 collegiate starts under his belt and only 318 passes

GMFB explains why 49ers' Trey Lance could take off in 2022

By David Bonilla
Aug 17

What will the San Francisco 49ers offense be like in 2022? Will it be better or worse than the version helmed by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo? That was the question asked on Good Morning Football this week. Garoppolo's time with the Niners has come to an end. While the veteran remains on the roster, the offense now belongs to Garoppolo's successor, second-year quarterback Trey Lance. Kyle Brandt doesn't believe the offense will be better in 2022 than the version that reached the NFC Championship Game last season, noting Lance's inexperience as a primary reason why. "He's just still so raw and so inexperienced," Brandt said. "And I also think Jimmy Garoppolo is really good, and he's gone. And I don't think they'll be better than last year. I

49ers-Packers: Kyle Shanahan offers day-after-game evaluations of Trey Lance, Samuel Womack, Trey Sermon

By David Bonilla
Aug 13

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has had a chance to watch the film from Friday night's 28-21 preseason win over the Green Bay Packers. It was an opportunity for a lot of young players to shine. But, more importantly, it was a chance for them to gain valuable experience. Second-year quarterback Trey Lance, the team's starter, finished the night 4-of-5 for 92 yards, a touchdown, and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. He was among the highest-graded 49ers players by Pro Football Focus. After reviewing the film, Shanahan said that his evaluation of the 22-year-old quarterback isn't much different from what he said last night. "He did a


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone